Former England winger Christian Wade WILL be playing in the Premiership next season - Ruck

Former England winger Christian Wade WILL be playing in the Premiership next season

Gloucester Rugby have confirmed the signing of Christian Wade from Top 14 club, Racing 92.

The wing will link up with the Cherry & Whites ahead of the 2024/25 season.

Wade made his professional rugby debut in 2011 for former Gallagher Premiership side, Wasps, where he went on to make 165 appearances for the club.

During the 2012/13 season, Wade was named both Players’ Player of the Year and the Young Player of the Year, after finishing joint leading try-scorer with 13 tries in the Premiership and was selected for the 2013 British & Irish Lions tour of Australia.

In October 2018, Wade left rugby to pursue a career in American Football, with a dream to play in the National Football League (NFL).

Wade joined the International Player Pathway (IPP), the same programme that former Gloucester wing, Louis Rees-Zammit, recently enrolled on. After graduating the IPP, Wade was contracted to the Buffalo Bills as a running back.

Wade left Buffalo, and the NFL completely, in 2022, paving the way for his return to rugby, joining Parisian side, Racing, for whom he has scored seven tries for so far.

Director of Rugby, George Skivington, commented: “Everyone at the Club is thrilled to welcome Christian to Gloucester.

“It’s been clear since he returned from America that he has come back in even better shape and still has that sixth sense for the try line that he had before he left.

“We’ve got a pretty exciting stock of back three players here, but it’s hugely pleasing to add someone of Christian’s experience to that group.”

Christian Wade spoke of his elation to be heading back to England.

“I’m excited to be returning to the Premiership next season and for a great Club like Gloucester.

“After speaking with George (Skivington), I believe in his vision and ambition for the team and I can’t wait to play my part in that.”


Fullback: Israel Folau (Australia)

Owens said: “For me, it’s nip and tuck between Halfpenny and Folau, next to nothing to choose between them. Leigh is brilliant because under the high ball and with his kicking at goal under pressure. He may not always break the line when running but puts his body on the line in defence and is a top-notch match-winner.

“But I go for Folau – only just, I should stress – because of his ability to seemingly beat his man every time he gets the ball in his hand. He’s such an exciting player and like Leigh he is one of the best under the high ball.

“It’s a toss of a coin for me… and it’s come down in Folau’s favour.”

Winger: Stuart Hogg (Scotland)

Owens said: “How can you fail to be impressed when watching Hogg play. He’s so exciting as he burst into that line and, of course, was named Six Nations player of the tournament.

“I know he’s a full-back for Scotland, but he is so quick and direct he could easily play on the wing. He reminds me a bit of Shane Williams with some of the things he does.

“When you see who is on the other wing in my team, you’ll see how they would work brilliantly in tandem.”

Fixtures for the Six Nations - Round 1

Outside-centre: Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)

Owens said: “Not only is he one of the greatest centres in the history of rugby union but he’s a fantastic man off the field as well. O’Driscoll has been a wonderful ambassador for the sport and a real leader. He always respected referees and set the right example for others to follow.

“A legend of the game who conducted himself superbly, on and off the pitch.”

Inside-centre: Ma’a Nonu (New Zealand)

Owens said: “He’s another brilliant player and after every game, win or lose, he would come up and give me a hug. Ma’a has always found time at after-match functions or at breakfast if we’ve been staying at the same hotel to come over and have a chat.

“What a player, mind, too. One of the stalwarts of the New Zealand side for so many years.”

Winger: Shane Williams (Wales)

Owens said: “When people ask me who is the best player I have refereed it’s pretty much an impossible task to pick one because I’ve been lucky enough to take charge of so many greats.

“But if I’m pushed, I would pick Shane for what he achieved after coming from football at 17 or 18 years of age.

“He was in the mould of Gerald Davies in how he left defenders gasping for air as he beat them with those dazzling sidesteps. Nobody would fancy defending against a back three of Shane, Hogg and Folau, I can tell you that.”